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Hampton80 04-26-2011 10:28 AM

Song Selection Process - music for a photo slideshow
For me, I find that I spend as much time trying to find just the right pieces of music for a photo slideshow as I do scanning and touching up the images. Most of the photos I work with haven't been shot in the past 20 years. I have a hard time finding something that will fit generations of material shot in the last 100 years.

I was just curious as to how others handle this process. What do you use to search for and find the right music to go with your material?

Additionally, if someone could also point me in the right direction for finding a good selection. I really like instrumental pieces. Mainly because they're timeless. Like driving a black car, it's never going to go out of style. I really like the theme from Finding Nemo (just wish it was longer than 2 minutes):

Anyone familiar with similar styles (instrumental, major key, sweeping music, ect...)?

kpmedia 04-27-2011 07:59 AM

Royalty-free music. Pretty much anything classical and by "the greats" tends to be free to use by somebody. Performances can be copyrighted, but the piece itself cannot. Some choose to protect their rights, others choose to release or "copyleft" it.

I would agree that instrumental music is important. The one exception is if you're trying to indelibly record the era. For example, high school slideshows with rock/whatever music of the time. Not that such productions are necessarily legal, of course -- most use music that is not authorized for use/distribution.

I still have my old videos from high school and college -- and no, I'm not saying who's playing. ;)

Strings can be nice, piano puts me to sleep, jazz/blues is good (no sax solos, however -- zzzzzzzz.)

There's really no rule to style. Just opinion and taste.

One good source for outright free music is the U.S. Library of Congress archives at
Plenty to choose from:

I really enjoy the old movies and TV shows archived there (under Moving Images), for free, legitimately. Forget Netflix and the "blockbuster" garbage made today by Hollywood, churned out to make a buck instead of tell a good story.

Or all the really good radio shows:

I've also "ripped" music from silent movies. For example, from the Harold Lloyd box set. (For a personal family slideshow, not anything commercial, as the music may be protected.) Or silents also found at, which is not protected.

Beyond that, you can search Google for "free royalty free tracks" to find even more places to grab great clips.
You'll find sites like this:
Isn't this interesting? -- listen to the first one, Tafi Maradi
I also like Indian (i.e., Native American, First Nations) music. It can sometimes for for something.
More silent scores:

Youtube is a waste of time. There are MUCH better sources. :)

lordsmurf 04-28-2011 06:43 AM

Or buy cheap classical music MP3s from Amazon:
Lots of good stuff there.
For personal projects only, of course. That's not licensed for commercial re-use.

I buy a lot of MP3's from Amazon.
I think it sounds better than iTunes encodes, and it's just easier to download. (Amazon just uses your web browser. No stupid extra software required.)
I purchase several per year for DVD menus and similar personal project needs.

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